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How do you not get swamped by it all?

(12 Posts)
needmorebalance Mon 29-May-17 19:20:44

I am feeling overwhelmed.

For those of you who either don't have children of your own or a lot more steps than your own kids, how do you not get taken over by their lives?

Dp has 4 kids, I have 1 but he's at uni and has his own life.

I have no close family of my own (only child, parents are dead) and I really thought I would feel like a family with dp kids and parents etc but I feel swamped and lonely and miss my son more because of it.

It feels like every conversation revolves around them. They have boyfriends now they're older, so we have to include them in everything too and I have a house full permanently of dp's kids despite them being teens or early twenties.

I am an introvert and need a bit of space but it's so hard to find. Dp wants me to be part of everything. I feel really lonely in a crowd.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 30-May-17 10:52:21

It's hard. I now have two young DC with DP. He also has 2 DC from his marriage. I didn't enjoy the chaos when they were at our house, I am quite antisocial and they are very loud and his DS has behavioural issues.
It's a strange dynamic I think and you are hugely outnumbered. I know I felt like an outsider and maybe that's how you feel too. It made it worse for me because there has been a lot of conflict in the past with DPs ex and she sends her DD on little missions. It got to such a stage where I have had to involve the police and I no longer see the DC and they cannot know where we live.
During contact, everything was about DPs kids and we just got told last minute what was happening. He is a real Disney Dad. He completely forgot about our children and me and it drove me mad.
Is the situation likely to get better soon? I will never regret my children but I often wish I hadn't had them with DP as it would make it easier to walk away. You don't seem to have that tie and if it isn't working for you, you don't have to stay. Having said that, you might find with time you feel much more integrated. I know a lot of people suggest faking it til you make it on here.

MrsMooks Tue 30-May-17 13:07:56

I couldn't handle it which is why I have made the decision to not live together. We've been together for 3 ½ years but when he has his kids (3 of them) I don't generally see them. We may go out for the day now and then but that's enough for me.
Maybe you need to move out?

needmorebalance Tue 30-May-17 13:16:38

Thanks for the replies.

We've lived together for 7 years. I thought his kids would grow up and be more independent. Instead, they've just added to my burden. I feel like I live in a youth hostel to which I am not allowed a say on how it's run.

I do less and less as a family because I feel I have to give and give and get nothing back.

It would be brilliant if dp was more supportive, stopped letting his kids call the shots and told me that he appreciated my sacrifices. I need to feel we are a team pulling together and that we appreciate each other.

Dp doesn't want to live apart and says we should split up if i leave out home.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 30-May-17 13:27:09

7 years is a long time to still feel like that. If it didn't look like it was going to change, I'd find it hard to stay.

I can understand your DPs viewpoint. I'm not sure living apart from someone would be for me either, but that's his and your choice. It's unfair to keep you captive in a situation he hates. Doesn't the chaos drive him mad?

needmorebalance Tue 30-May-17 14:38:28

It's funny because when my son is at home he wants to know his exact comings and goings.

If I ask what his kids are doing, I get snapped at. He behaves like it's all cool with his kids but not with my 1.

He's often said he wants his kids to feel completely comfortable at our home so they don't move out. I have pointed out that surely he should want EVERYONE to feel comfortable.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 30-May-17 15:03:55

It sounds a bigger issue then. Yes everyone should be comfortable, but not so comfortable that they never want to move out as adults.
I don't know how you do it. If you decide you would like to move out, he has the choice whether to agree you carry on your relationship or not. He might learn to appreciate all you do or he may not (wishing I could follow my own advice here).

Magda72 Tue 30-May-17 15:53:35

Mrs Mooks - just wondering do you also have dcs of your own?

MrsMooks Tue 30-May-17 18:47:54

Yes I have one DS who is 7.
When I see my boyfriend is when we are generally child free (although he comes to mine sometimes when my DS is here) and it's fun, it suits us. There's none of the day to day crap that, IMO, can ruin a relationship. I'm 46 and have lived with 2 different men (exh & exp) for over 20 years, and I prefer it this way.

DontMindTheStep Wed 31-May-17 12:20:09

Hi OP. flowers This sounds a hard stage for you. You've put in a lot of effort and home is not a happy place for you right now.
Just for insight, because you ask, I have 4 DC and 3 DSC and they are all teens/early 20s. I have lots of experience and so I might go on a bit - but I hope I can help you explore a workable solution. It sounds like your instinct is to run for the hills! I can understand that.

I am not going to underestimate how alienated you have felt being the adult partner in the home, and yet not having any control. Step mums get this and it is hard for us, and most say the hardest thing we have done.

As a word of encouragement can I suggest to you that you have done the hardest bit already and the only way now, is up. smile

Your DP's 4 are late teens and early 20s and they WILL move on in a few years.
You might well be experiencing empty nest having lost your boy to uni, and the 7 year itch, on top of not being on the inside of the family unit.

Can I suggest you talk to DP (who cannot call the shots as to whether you stay or go). Talk again I mean, because obviously you have talked.

He has said he would split from you if you leave him, to live elsewhere. That is his perogative, but sounds like a threat. So be careful what you wish for.

You have detached a little from your son because he is away at uni. He has his own life. Similarly, your step children are older and have their own lives, and you can detach a little too.

The way forward is to Keep Calm and start to be more self- preservationist !! Draw the line in the sand and set some house rules. You do have a right in your own home to stand up for yourself. You are not running a youth hostel!

Your Dp can cope with a little change for the better. The kids can learn new regimes. Over the last 7 years many things will have changed. Nothing stays the same. You are in a limbo where things are on the brink. The only positive thing about being in limbo is that it doesn't last long by definition, and that you have an opportunity for a change of direction.

Think about staying in the relationship and in the home. Losing relationships is hard and sad. Building richness together with a partner is supportive and heart warming.

Acknowledge that you DSC are part of your life but make DP understand you are not a doormat. It's in everyone's interest that you assert your right to be heard in the home.

You are reassessing in your mind. Try to find workable solutions to what you will and won't tolerate. Move your homelife in a more positive and sustainable way of living. Box clever and don't do the teens down- most teens are self centred and you would be somewhat irrelevant to them compared to their bf/gf.

(If you want an example of one of our house rules (relatively new rule after one DSC returned from uni) - then for example, I said "NO laying on the sofa to watch TV and being sleepy. Go to your room if you're tired". I felt it was an intrusion on the shared living room. The young adult pulled faces, argued a little and I stood my ground. At first my D P sided with the thinking that it's ok to lay on sofas, why couldn't his DC be allowed to just do as they wish? I said to DP, that we are a big household and we can't all do it - there isn't room, and I won't have it. If he felt it was okay then I look forward to turning up at the kids first place and laying on their sofa, scratching, sweating and snoozing and having an opera on tv, that no one else enjoys hearing! Hubby grumbled, but I find that now the kids don't expect to be allowed to slob out selfishly in the living room - even though it is okay if we are all flopped and watching tv. So complex rules can be enforced. But you have to stand up for yourself.).

Understand yourself too - perhaps that you are at a loss without your own boy and you are outnumbered by teens and THIS IS HARD. But it can get easier and the good times are to come!

I hope you can see some positives amongst all the hardship OP. flowers

AlphabetSoup3 Thu 01-Jun-17 23:37:08

The number of children is a much bigger factor than you think. At least it was for me. For a while there were 3 of 'them' as in step sons and DH and only one of me so their rules, their conversations etc dominated.

Even getting your friends around the house might help.

needmorebalance Tue 06-Jun-17 20:13:25

Thank you for the replies.

It's really good to hear an example of a house rule such as the laying on the sofa rule. I really think I find it difficult not to sound petty over things like that but it is precisely that sort of thing that can piss you off and make you feel excluded.

I think dp could do a lot more to help me but it suits him to have him and his, why would he want it any different?!

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